Spike in Russia tourism to Cuba coincides with trade renaissance, as U.S. disengages

Russian visitor numbers to Cuba surpassed 100,000 in 2017, an increase of 67 percent from the previous year. Russia exports to Cuba also jumped 81 percent, up to $225 million during the January-September period, official Russian data shows. “We can call this period a renaissance,” Aleksandr Bogatyr, Russia’s trade representative in Cuba, said in an interview With Reuters. Russia is Cuba’s largest trading partner, second to China. One hundred miles away, Trump pulls back relationship-building efforts with Caribbean nation. The island clearly remains a geopolitical and economic backdrop for the U.S. Overall, we are discouraged by decades of misguided U.S. policy toward Cuba and Latin America more generally.